Sabbatical Adventures begin . . .

Sabbatical Adventures begin . . .

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Business Year

What I learned in 2014: Vol. 1

Wall art and yo yo, one of my passions!

So difficult  to put into words what has been going on in my mind.  You too?  But since it is the time of year to reflect, I will try.

First, I need to divide my comments into categories.  I have learned quite a bit this year; some of it about business, some of it about myself and some of it . . . well . . . you get the idea.

This post will be about business, online business that I have engaged in for six years,  I will be very frank and honest about what I have learned.  If it will help you in your business, well, then, it will have been worth it to write it down in this way. (And it serves as a diary entry to me to look back on reminding myself!)

sold many coasters at PruittCreations 

Online Business has not been great this year. It's not that I didn't try.  I had lots of new items and promoted them.  I was happy with my promotion efforts.  Some of them included:

1) joining and participating with new teams to increase my friends base.  I met some new friends and that was good.
2) increased participation with my beloved team, Blogging Business Artisans.  Some great friends there! Other Etsy sellers who helped me promote and we love to encourage each other! Thanks team!
3) Lots of twitter posts.  I found this to beneficial. Got views from nearly every post!  That's great! but the down side is that I didn't get any sales from this promotion.
4) did a couple of Facebook promotions, and they were a dud. Got a few lookers, but again, no sales.

Love Christmas ornies!
So what was the reason for low sales:
I believe there were two reasons.
One is my fault--my product.  I love to make my products. I love to create! But the fact seems to be that there is no demand for my products.  Oh I've had plenty of 'high fives' called 'favorites' online, by that didn't translate into sales.  So, I must conclude that my products do not leave a 'must have' taste in the appetite of potential customers.  Some might say that maybe my promotion didn't reach my target audience, but after six years on the net, I doubt that is true.   (Even my supplemental show sales have born out 'low customer demand'.)

Outdoor show
Reason number two for low sales:
I believe, is Etsy.  Etsy has changed its focus, its look and its values over the six years that I have been there.  Originally they promoted themselves as a  'handmade' or 'handcrafted' marketplace.  They have shifted that focus to a more hip, modern, sleek look, that doesn't feature items that look handmade.  Oh there are many items to be found on Etsy that have the unique handmade look, but if you could compare the sales, I bet you would see more items that have a manufactured look.  (Items are still billed as handmade because they are made by individuals.) This value shift is also seen in their focus change toward wholesale.
I, personally tend to like items that are not slick, but have a unique handcrafted look--that includes imperfections!

When Etsy had a sales feed, I could keep up on trends.  (BTW--they removed their sales feed some time ago from the site.) Now you have to trust their say-so as to what is trending (selling).  Sometimes I feel like they are telling us what they would prefer to be trending, like run-way items!

Well, enough of the rant!  Suffice it to say, I will be closing two shops on Etsy.  They just are not worth my time and the money invested.  (I know, I did that before, and frankly, I chickened out after a few months and went back to selling on Etsy because I enjoyed it so much!)   In 2015, I can shift my creative efforts into my writing, watercolor, art quilts, quilts for my large family and maybe even, cute outfits for my grands! Anyway, that will be an audience that will appreciate handcrafted!

NOTE:  Please do not take all this as negative, as it is honest and has lead me to a good conclusion.
P.S.  Watch for closing sale pricing after the New Year.  
P.S.S.  Volume 2 tomorrow . . . see you then!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

This year . . .

This year seems to have just buzzed on by me!  It's nearly over.  I even forgot to wish you a happy holiday!  Hope yours was an awesome celebration, like ours was!

Originally in this blog, which I started last March, I  set out to chronicle my sabbatical adventure. And although this year has not totally been a sabbatical,  it has, indeed, been a year of change. Sometimes sabbaticals do that.  They provide time to reflect and allow for course corrections.

In the coming days, I want to share some of what I have been experiencing in the last few months and the course corrections that I am making.

In the meantime, I hope you a have a great New Year celebration!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rainy Day

We had planned a get-away that fell through, so instead, hubby and I spend the day outside!  We  sat by the river in our car and in between rain drops, we took pictures.

Then we went to a local park and took a walk.  We carried our umbrella, just in case we needed it!

 Afterwards we had lunch in a cute local cafe that has inside hanging gardens and an art gallery.

 It turned out to be a great day!

P.S. What did ya think about my 'art' gallery today!?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October! BC Awareness Month

Hope begins with ME!

I'm spreading the word!  I am a survivor!  A survivor of nearly nine years!  YAY!  Here I am wearing an awareness t-shirt and a necklace my blogger friend, Edi of memoriesforlifesb, made for me!

Why am I showing you my selfie?  Ladies, I want you to remember to test yourself, be aware and get your screenings!  I found my own cancer and would not be here except for my awareness and exceptional medical help.  Please don't think that "It won't happen to me."  No one in my family had, nor have they been diagnosed with, this disease.  I was the first.  It can happen--protect yourself with all the information you can get.
Be Aware!
Be the best person in charge of your own care!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Restful Day

Recently I went to Willamette River State Park with some family . . . had a great day! Sorry some of the pics are blurry, but the memory isn't!

"G'ma!  Look what I found!" 

Laughing at the grands

skipping rocks with my grandsons

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Riverside Afternoon

After spending a day in the hospital this week, I was ready for some "outside time".  Hubby and walked down to the Willamette River at Elk Island park and set up our portable chairs.  We sat under a tree, some type of willow, and enjoyed the breeze and the sunshine.  The river level was as low as I have ever seen it, with Elk Island not being an island anymore! We stayed about two hours just soaking in the outdoors on a beautiful day!  Here's a photo recap:

Elk "Island"

Some flowers were still in bloom  . . . . even tho' fall was only three days away!

The water was so calming . . . what a beautiful day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Turning Aside from Summer

It's early September,  and my grands are going back to school as summer is leaving.  Many people like the summer season as their favorite, but not me.  I wait patiently for summer to slip away into Fall! I lived in hot, sun-shiny country for more than 40 years of my life and I don't want to go back to that weather. That's one reason I love the Pacific Northwest--the weather!

I enjoy the cooling days of Autumn, the delight of the color appearing in the trees, the final tomatoes on the vine and just a sigh of relief as I walk through the garden. I don't mind the rain and the shortening days.  I love the fall produce--apples, pears and pumpkins. The fall flowers, mums, and drying hydrangeas are always a fun sign of the coming holidays. And one of my favorites, leaves swirling and blowing across the walk.  Ah . . . I just can't wait for a good Autumn stroll!

Monday, August 25, 2014

CosPlay? Con?

I had a restful day today, visiting with my granddaughter, Kayleigh. She is home from a year in Taiwan and will start her senior year next week!  She is crazy about cosplay. Cosplay or costume play has become popular with worldwide clubs and conventions for dressing up like your favorite anime character.  And not always anime characters--sometimes manga, comic, or film characters.  Kayleigh is attending a Con (convention) this weekend as the anime character Clear. She modeled her costume for us and spend the afternoon working on her makeup techniques!  I had never heard of Cosplay before about a year ago, when she got interested in it.  I know that I won't describe it correctly, but it seems it is for people who are interested in anime (animated cartoons--mostly of the Japanese sort). Anime characters usually have oversized heads and large eyes.  Even her wallet depicts anime characters! And Kayleigh loves to draw them too!

Wallet including pink yoyo pin that I made for her today

Her favorite character is a boy that is dressed like this picture and carries a clear umbrella and a gas mask!? (Don't ask me, I just don't know the story!) But none-the-less, isn't she cute in her wig and costume!!?

Klee as Clear

Clear character's flower crown
Klee, short spelling of her name that she likes,  usually wears purple contacts, especially purchased, to further accent the character's eyes.  Also, note that her eyebrows are whited to give more definition to the eyes.

Kayleigh earns the money to pay for her costumes and expenses for her interest!  We are sooooo proud of her!
G'Pa and Klee
Sure is fun having Kayleigh (Klee) home 
from her exchange in Taiwan!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Photo Summary of July

Well it's August and I have not been here blogging in a while. The roller coaster ride (see previous post) is winding down and I finally feel like blogging again.  Won't go into the details, suffice it to say, the nausea is subsiding, although another ride is on the horizon. Life never stops!

So, ignoring the low points, today I just present a few photographs of the HIGH-lights of life in the last month.  First, the Fourth of July party at my daughter's house--bounce house and all:

Including the jello desserts that I made!

Then there was the berry picking trip:

Eating more than picking! :)

Then last weekend was a birthday pool party for one of my grands!  Eleven of my grands were there! Fun!

Homemade berry/nectarine Birthday Pie!

Birthday girl and mama

Well, that's my summer activities so far, 
what have you been up to?

Monday, June 30, 2014


Last day of June and it is always my birthday! >>>smile :)  My favorite Etsy team, the Blogging Business Artisans, does monthly challenges and wouldn't ya know, this month we are supposed to write about a favorite birthday or birthday celebration.

Well, when I was growing up, my family was not much into birthday celebrations, since my parents grew up 'dirt poor' (excuse the pun) in the dust bowl years with mostly nothing.  It just wasn't one of their family traditions. So our family just had a birthday cake, which mom made, and a present--usually just one-- at the dinner table.  When my kids were little, there were so many of them--six--that having birthday parties just wasn't feasible due to the sheer number of parties required.  I would have been doing a party every other month and our friends would have gotten tired of that really quick! Then when my husband died and I remarried my sweet hubby with four kids (three of them living with us!), parties were definitely out of the question!  I do remember several of the teens throwing their own parties for special birthdays like sweet sixteen etc.--with all of the work done by them, except I bought the cakes.  So much for the history part of this story!

Today, hubby brought me breakfast in bed--my favorite egg muffin and coffee; then when I got up, I found this on my work table:

I literally love cinnamon rolls!  There are lots of them so I can munch on them the rest of the day!  And my hubby is just so sweet to always buy flowers for special occasions!  Love these long stemmed red roses!!!  Thanks honey!

Oh . . . and he is planning dinner out this evening!  He's a keeper!

P.S. you can see what my other teammates are posting here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June's Roller Coaster Ride!

I was catching up on my blog reading this morning, when I read a good post about how the blogger's month had been progressing.  I thought about my month and realized that it has been like a roller coaster ride!

It began, after a long slow period of research, a quick rise in prep work, and topped with being received favorably by a new client, talking with them about an order.  I was elated at having a new client after doing five months worth of research to get the account!

Next came a short incline with a short preparation for my very first 'First Friday' festival in my home town. The ride was smooth, though not exhilarating.

  The day after left me with an empty feeling, saying good bye to an old friend moving to the opposite coast.

Next was a steady climb, anticipating my 24th wedding anniversary, planning a trip to the beach; but before we could get there, one of my DIL's dropped a bomb on the family and literally devastated our large extended family!

There was an emergency ride to Seattle to do some damage control and provide some encouragement.

That short trip was the day before our anniversary beach reservations.

The beach trip was awesome, as you can plainly see by my previous post on this blog.  On Tuesday last, ups and downs were present in the same day with a contentious staff meeting and an uplifting evening ladies gathering.  Then, Wednesday was an extremely high HIGH, with our granddaughter, Klee, returning home from her year long exchange in Taiwan!

So incredibly wonderful to have her home!

Family reunited!
The very next day was a court appearance for my son and soon to be ex-wife--no need to mention an incredible low for me and our close-knit family.

I felt buried!

Now I have four days left in the month, where I am closing my oldest Etsy shop, contemplating closing the others because of changing Etsy policies, and ending with my birthday on the last day of the month!  I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

Ever had one of those months?